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P.E.I. RCMP note ‘heightened fear’ in response to armed, barricaded man

RCMP officers prepare to take a person into custody at a gas station in Enfield, N.S. on Sunday April 19, 2020.
RCMP officers prepare to take a person into custody at a gas station in Enfield, N.S. on Sunday April 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Krochak

RCMP are thanking the residents of Souris, P.E.I., after their quick response to an armed and barricaded man on Friday.

The incident occurred in the shadow of last month’s Nova Scotia shootings that left 22 people dead, which the P.E.I. RCMP acknowledged in a press release.

“We recognize that the recent events in our neighbouring province have heightened our levels of fear and your patience was very much appreciated,” RCMP wrote.

READ MORE: Nova Scotia shooting victim’s widower launches class-action lawsuit against killer’s estate

Police responded to a 911 call about a domestic complaint on Cantwell Crescent shortly after 4:30 p.m. AT.

Officers arrived on the scene to find a frantic woman outside of the residence and determined that a 25-year-old man was inside in the process of destroying the inside of the home.

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Police learned that the man could possibly be in possession of a long gun and as a precaution, secured the area to ensure the rest of the town was safe.

Additional units, including members of the Emergency Response Team and the RMCP Negotiation Team, were called in as the standoff continued.

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Shortly after 11 p.m., negotiators were able to convince the man to surrender without further incident.

He remains in custody and is facing multiple charges including uttering threats, mischief, an outstanding warrant for his arrest on an unrelated matter and unspecified firearms charges.

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RCMP thanked the “great support and professional actions” of the Souris Fire Department who responded to the scene and helped to provide security around the area.

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Throughout the incident, RCMP kept the public advised through their twitter account.

It’s a method that has faced criticism in the wake of the Nova Scotia shootings.

Nova Scotia RCMP came under scrutiny after choosing to communicate to the public through their official Twitter account as the gunman travelled through multiple rural communities, killing as he went.

Security experts have told Global News that the use of an emergency alert could have saved lives during the shooting spree.

The RCMP currently has no countrywide guidelines for when the police should use Canada’s public warning system to broadcast information to cellphones and television screens.

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The force is looking at whether to change that.

The comparisons between the incident were apparent enough for P.E.I. RCMP to acknowledge in their press release.

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The Mounties stressed that the incident did not “warrant an alert system” as it was contained to one residence.

“The quick response of residents in the area to abide by the request of officers was key to the situation ending in the best possible manner,” police said.